Thursday, 1 September 2016

Anxiety, Relapse and Uncertainty

I don't want to say that my recovery was easy because it really, really wasn't. But, having said that, the only thing I want to add to that statement is that the situation in which I found myself in in order to recover made it easier. I moved home to my parent's house - I was forced to get up and dressed, forced to eat right, to go to therapy. It was hard, but it was as easy as it could have been in that situation - it wasn't easy, but it was really, really safe. I existed for six months in a bubble - recovered, but only in the most basic way as opposed to a much wider, real life kind of way.

Then, in the annoying way that it tends to, real life crept up on me. Suddenly university is happening next month, and I'm making plans to see people in real life, and I feel like all of a sudden my recovery is being put to the test because, although I was okay when I was safe and comfortable, being okay when I'm in a life that's more uncertain seems an entirely different kettle of fish. My illness has always stemmed from a lack of control and, unfortunately, that's sort of just the nature of life, for the most part. Even more unfortunately for me - that real life aspect of uncertainty makes maintaining my recovery a whole lot harder. I was so determined not to relapse back into being a victim of Generalised Anxiety Disorder but the morning after a huge panic attack that was my second within a week, it's time to accept that recovery and relapse are just always going to go hand in hand, and both will always be a huge part of my life.

As I see it, I have two options - I can live a safe life and potentially never have to face relapse (though realistically, that's never going to be a given). Or, I can take risks and tackle relapse if and when it occurs. Truthfully, both options kind of suck in my option but, realistically, neither is as bad as having never recovered at all. Recovery  is subjective - and my thinking that it would mean that I would never relapse, that I would suddenly be able to cope with any uncertainty that life threw at me really was beyond naive. My recovery means that I can deal with less than complete certainty in my life, that my panic attacks happen less than twice a day. I've come to realise that recovery can mean "better" in the sense of not being as bad, as opposed to "better" in the sense of being entirely healthy.

So, I suppose - welcome to my real life - uncertainty, anxiety, relapse and all. I'm not sure how it'll work out, but here's me giving it a shot.

Sammy xo.


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